A few years back I was on Twitter and started seeing all sorts of posts from a conference that was called, ““Children, Youth, and a New Kind of Christianity.” I was disappointed that I had missed any promotion of it. Well CYANKC was rebranded Faith Forward. I had the privilege to present a session at the conference this past May as it was held here in Nashville. It was one of the highlights of my conference-going (and I have been to a lot of conferences!) During the three day conference fresh ideas swirled around session after session, but there were several things that remained at the core of Faith Forward:
- Children and Youth Ministers Gathered for Collaboration–So often we tend to operate in silos unaware of what the other is doing. Collaboration is so vital for success. The diversity of people Faith Forward has brought together was one of my favorite parts of this conference. I got to meet and network with people from countless backgrounds with amazing ideas that helped sharpen me.
- A Refocusing on Family Connection to Ministry–Student ministries have left out mom and dad and other generations for far too long. It is refreshing to see intergenerational, family ministry discussion come into the main stream conversation. Faith forward has brought people like Brian Mclaren, Tony Campolo and Phyllis Tickle to speak on this vital issue for the church.
- A BIG emphasis on Theology…bringing the question of “Why?” to our ministries–Youth Ministry needs to be able to answer the question of “Why?” in order to take our families to the depths that are available to us in Christ. Faith Forward is bringing some great theologians together to share their work.
If you are looking for a conference that is fresh and full of new ideas to give you vision and substance, then I would recommend that you consider attending Faith Forward in 2015 in Chicago.